Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to not have to commute or dress up in office attire, but it can also be distracting and lonely. Follow these tips to help you successfully work from home.
Maintain a Schedule
To help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, make sure to keep to your regular working hours. That means if you usually end your shift around six o’clock, then stick to that and don’t work late into the night. Like it or not, our bodies crave repetition and regularity.
Have a Morning Routine
Avoid snoozing until work begins. Set up a morning routine that helps adjust you to your workday and become alert. This could be making a cup of coffee or tea, exercising, meditating, or simply doing your skincare routine and changing out of your pyjamas.
Be sure to take breaks while you are working from home and take them in their entirety. Walk away from your computer screen or phone for at least 15 minutes twice a day or for an hour during lunch.
Set Up a Work Space
While you might be tempted to work in bed, try not to! In order to separate work from your home, create an office space somewhere in your house. This could simply be a desk where your computer is or a whole room dedicated to your work. Ideally, you should have two computers: one for work and one for personal use. However, this may not be feasible. So instead consider hooking up your laptop to a monitor and keyboard for work and when it’s unplugged, then that means it’s time to relax and sign off.
Get the Equipment You Need
Make sure to ask your company for the equipment you need to successfully work from home. This could be a printer, monitor, keyboard, certain software, phone, and a comfortable chair. Most organizations who support working from home, have a budget dedicated to home office equipment, so don’t be afraid to speak up! When you work remotely, you might have more valuable items in your home than if you were commuting to an office. To help safeguard your office equipment and materials, consider investing in home and contents insurance. This kind of insurance protects your home and possessions inside your home from situations outside of your control, such as natural disasters and theft. Compare home and contents insurance with iSelect to get the best coverage.
Socialize with Co-workers
Even if you’re an introvert, it’s important to interact with your co-workers when working remotely. Loneliness and isolation is a common issue for people who work from home so make sure you are still developing relationships with the people you work with. This could be something simple like participating in a virtual happy hour or engaging in a Slack conversation with other staff.
Use a VPN
Protect your personal data by using a VPN any time your computer is connected to a network that isn’t your own, such as Wi-Fi hotspots at cafes, airports, and co-working spaces. You might also consider connecting to a VPN at home if your work contains sensitive material that is meant to be private. If you are worried about any of your information getting into the wrong hands, consider using an information search engine for free email lookup, access to people’s mugshots, arrest records, and other public records. This will help you check on any suspicious email addresses that enter your inbox.
Have a Separate Work Number
In order to maintain work-life balance, set up a separate phone number or line for your professional calls. This could be another landline, second cell phone, or you could use Google Voice.
When you work from home, it’s crucial to have plenty of channels to communicate through. Using an email address alone will just overload your mailbox. Consider using WhatsApp groups, Slack channels, videoconferencing, and regular phone calls and text to keep up with your co-workers. You’ll want a variety of tools to help make your work smoother. Consider trying out Trello, Asana, and Google Drive to keep your office organized.
Don’t stay cooped up inside all day. Get some fresh air! This doesn’t have to be grabbing a cup of coffee or going out for lunch. Sometimes just taking a short walk around your neighbourhood will help you gain some clarity.
Take Sick Days
Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take sick days when you don’t feel well. Additionally, if you are unable to work because you are sick or injured, invest in income protection. By having income protection insurance in place, you are maintaining financial security and guaranteeing you receive a regular income even while you are ill.